by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

O wundervoller Meisterlaut
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
O wundervoller Meisterlaut,
Wie gibst du meinem Lustverlangen
Gleich einer schönen, zarten Braut
So scheu und zitternd dich gefangen!

O höchste, atemlose Lust,
Wenn deine Töne wachsend steigen,
Dich so zu halten Brust an Brust,
Du schlanke Königin der Geigen!

So süß, so warm aus tiefstem Grund,
So selig aus der Brust gesungen
Ist mir von keines Weibes Mund
Ein Liebeslaut ans Herz gedrungen.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 47.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Stradivarius", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2014-02-17
Line count: 12
Word count: 64

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Oh wonderful masterly sound,
Like a beautiful, gentle bride
You give yourself captive to my desire
So shyly and with such trembling!

Oh highest, breathless joy,
When your sounds rise, swelling,
To hold you thus, breast to breast,
You slender queen of violins!

So sweetly, so warmly from the deepest depths,
So blissfully sung from the breast
No sound of love uttered by a woman's lips
Has ever penetrated to my heart.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2014-02-17
Line count: 12
Word count: 72